By Burcu Calik and Baris Gundogan
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Saturday said no one can design the region’s future without Turkey.
"Stop at the west of Euphrates, don't cross to its east. There is no such thing. There is no east or west for terror, it’s our main target until we completely get rid of it. We will do whatever is necessary. No one can design the region’s future without Turkey,” Yildirim said while addressing at the Hasan Kalyoncu University in the southern Gaziantep province.
He said Turkish military have been conducting "successfully" the land and the air operations and that it will eliminate threats to its border security, territorial integrity, and security of life and property.
"Wherever there is a terror threat, it is a target for us,” the prime minister added.
Later, Yildirim also spoke at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) Youth Branch provincial congress of Gaziantep and said the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq is “essential” for Turkey.
“Syria and Iraq's territorial integrity is essential for us. Turkey's security depends on Syria and Iraq, and their stability. Our main priority is to ensure peace in the region and at home,” the prime minister added.
“Now life is resuming in Afrin. Governments are formed from local elements there, just like in Jarabulus. When the region is cleared of explosives, the real owners/residents of city will return and settle there,” he said.
“We will destroy all PKK, PYD, Daesh terror organizations in the region, our main priority is to provide peace at home. Those who want to prevent Turkey's fight against terrorism will be disappointed,” Yildirim said.
He also announced to establish the third university in Gaziantep. “I have a good news for Gaziantep. We will establish a third university which will be a science and technology university.”
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.
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